soonersports.com Press Release
NORMAN — The National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame announced the 2021 ballot for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame on Tuesday and former University of Oklahoma standouts Bob Stoops, Josh Heupel and Roy Williams earned spots among the seven coaches and 78 players listed from the Football Bowl Subdivision.
The ballot was emailed Tuesday to the more than 12,000 NFF members and current Hall of Famers whose votes will be tabulated and submitted to the NFF's Honors Courts, which will deliberate and select the class. The FBS Honors Court, chaired by NFF Board Member and College Football Hall of Famer Archie Griffin from Ohio State, and the Divisional Honors Court, chaired by former Marshall head coach, longtime athletics director and NFF Board Member Jack Lengyel, include an elite and geographically diverse pool of athletic administrators, Hall of Famers and members of the media.
"It's an enormous honor to just be on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot considering more than 5.4 million people have played college football and only 1,027 players have been inducted," said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. "The Hall's requirement of being a first-team All-American creates a much smaller pool of about 1,500 individuals who are even eligible. Being in today's elite group means an individual is truly among the greatest to have ever played the game, and we look forward to announcing the 2021 College Football Hall of Fame Class Presented by ETT early next year."
The announcement of the class will be made in early 2021, with specific details to be revealed in the future. The class will be officially inducted during the 64th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 7, 2021, at the New York Hilton Midtown. They will also be honored at their respective schools with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute during the 2021 season.
Bob Stoops | Head Coach | 1999-2016
The owner of the most wins in Oklahoma football history and engineer of 10 Big 12 Conference titles and the 2000 national championship, Bob Stoops posted a 190-48 (.798) record at OU and coached the Sooners to a school-record 18 consecutive bowl berths. He was the only coach in the BCS era to win the Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl and the national championship, and accumulated more victories over his first 18 seasons than any coach in the game's history.
From Youngstown, Ohio, Stoops guided the Sooners to the most wins of any Power 5 program between 1999 to 2016, and led OU to double-digit wins in 14 of his 18 seasons and to at least eight victories in each of his last 17 campaigns, good for the longest streak in the nation at the time of his retirement. Seven of his squads finished in the AP top five, including each of the last two, while three more finished No. 6.
A six-time Big 12 Coach of the Year and two-time national coach of the year, Stoops was responsible for reviving one of the most storied programs in college football history. In the four years before he was hired, the Sooners were 17-27-1 (.389) overall and 10-21 (.323) in Big Eight/Big 12 play.
After going 7-5 in 1999 in his debut year in Norman, Stoops promptly directed OU to its seventh national title by going 13-0 and beating Florida State 13-2 in the Orange Bowl. The Sooners played in three more BCS National Championship games under Stoops and made the four-team College Football Playoff in 2015. They spent 30 weeks in the AP poll's No. 1 spot and were atop the BCS standings for a nation-leading 20 weeks.
The Sooners' Big 12 supremacy under Stoops was unrivaled. Oklahoma amassed 10 league titles in his 18 years while no other Big 12 program won more than two during the stretch. OU posted a 121-29 (.807) regular season league record under Stoops, easily outdistancing the second- and third-best marks (Texas, .693; Kansas State, .560).
Stoops produced 38 first-team All-Americans and 83 NFL Draft picks while at OU, and coached Heisman Trophy winners Jason White (2003) and Sam Bradford (2008).
Josh Heupel | Quarterback | 1999-2000
The runner-up for the 2000 Heisman Trophy, Josh Heupel became Oklahoma's first consensus All-America quarterback and the first Sooners signal-caller to earn All-America honors since Jack Mildren in 1971.
A junior college transfer, Heupel was one of Bob Stoops' first OU recruits and is largely credited with turning an offense that statistically ranked as one of the worst in the nation before his arrival into one of the country's most explosive.
After helping OU to a 7-5 record in his debut year, Heupel led the Sooners to a 13-0 campaign in 2000 (their first 13-win season in history) and a national championship. He was named Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp Player of the Year, The Sporting News Player of the Year, CBS Sports Player of the Year and Big 12 Player of the Year that season.
Heupel, from Aberdeen, S.D., passed for 7,456 yards and 53 touchdowns in his two seasons at OU, and still ranks in the top five in school history in career passing yards (fifth), career completions (654; third), career passing attempts (1,025; third) and career touchdown passes (fifth) despite playing only two seasons. He threw for at least 300 yards in 14 of his 25 career contests, and left OU holding virtually every OU and numerous Big 12 passing records.
Roy Williams | Defensive Back | 1998-2001
By the time his career was over, Roy Williams was more feared by offensive opponents and more respected by his defensive peers than any player in the country.
As a redshirt sophomore in 2000, the safety was one of the stars on an OU defense that went 13-0 and held Florida State's offense scoreless in the Orange Bowl (BCS National Championship game) to earn the school's seventh national title. He finished the year with 99 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, two interceptions, 10 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.
The next year, the Union City, Calif., product was even more productive, winning the Nagurski Award as the nation's top defender and the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. The unanimous All-American was No. 7 in Heisman Trophy voting, the highest finish of the year by a non-quarterback, and finished with 107 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, five interceptions, 22 pass breakups and three fumble recoveries.
Williams bypassed his senior season of eligibility to enter the 2002 NFL Draft and was selected with the eighth pick in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys.